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Feature in Living Magazine for Buckinghamshire & Berkshire - August Issue 2022

Red kites, deer and foxes which surround Millie Bridget Henry’s Buckinghamshire studio inspire her magical woodland creature designs. “When I start designing a new collection, I will set myself a design brief and then begin my research from there,” she says of the creative process. “I keep a photographic archive of images from trips so it’s always great to start there – but nature has always had a huge influence on my work. “The Enchanted Forest Collection for example was inspired by the great British landscape and the flora and fauna that make it so beautiful and was very much influenced by my move back to Buckinghamshire. “I can literally sit in my studio and watch the red kites flying above or the deer and foxes crossing the fields. It’s a magical spot. I then create a mood board of all the imagery I have collated, and then start to design. “My process has changed slightly over the years, and I always have a vision of how I want the design layout to work, but I allow the in- between parts to flow freely and just see what happens as I’m designing. I like the process of drawing all my designs by hand and think they are imperfectly perfect, and you create lines, mark making and textures that are completely unique. All the designs are hand drawn and then scanned in and coloured digitally. “I always wanted to be a textile designer, but I never imagined I would set up my own luxury brand. It’s interesting reflecting on my journey to this point and seeing how so many different moments in my life which I thought weren’t relevant to my career journey has led me to where I am now. “I’m so happy it worked out the way it did, and I feel very grateful to run my own business doing something I love and am passionate about.” Millie graduated from the Winchester School of Art in 2010, specialising in textile print design. After graduating, Millie interned at various fashion houses before deciding to travel in 2012. Upon her return she moved to London and started work at Huntsman on Savile Row and found her love for men’s accessories. In 2016 she started work at Buckingham Palace with a team of conservators providing a conservation service to the Royal Collection. An internship at Zandra Rhodes in 2017 put Millie firmly on the path to setting up her own design studio, after working on Savile Row. She started off working at Huntsman on Savile Row in 2015 as a product development assistant. In this role, Millie worked alongside the creative director, developing RTW tailoring, shirts, knitwear and accessories. “It was an incredible experience working alongside so many talented craftspeople and working with British manufacturers,” she says. ‘Whilst working here I was doing some competitive research for pocket squares, and I noticed lots of competitors used the same paisley design in similar colour palettes, but the scale may vary slightly so I decided to start designing again in my own time as I thought there was a niche gap in the market. The first design I produced was inspired by the paisley print but a more contemporary version and this is how the business started. I then left Huntsman in 2017 and launched my business with two small collections of pocket squares.” Millie has since expanded her business from men’s luxury accessories and launched a range of beautiful silk cushions. What have been the biggest achievements or proudest moments so far? “I think my proudest moment was getting my first stockist in the West End of London and then every time I get a new international stockist. I love the idea of people wearing my products around the world and I love it when people send photos, and I can see how they’ve styled them. I think my biggest achievement is managing to push the business through a pandemic and having the determination to keep going. “The first years of business are always hard, and it’s been incredibly challenging, but you just have to keep pushing through the lows and eventually it will pay off.”



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